The Brutal Tattoo Ritual Built on Pain

The Brutal Tattoo Ritual Built on Pain

Yeah, it’s always
the question why, but… I feel more complete every time
I have a session, you know. Everybody wants to look like how you see yourself, you know. For the Brutal Black project, the most important [thing]
is the experience. It’s like a kind of rite
of passage thing, like a ritual. They believe that they want to push
their body physically to its limit. The whole energy
changes in the room. Like, everyone that’s tattooing
goes quiet, focused, unless Valerio tattoos them, and then it’s pain. My job is to take you
to the end of it. And yours is to complete it. Sometimes, I insult people. I say, “What the fuck are you doing? Stay down! Don’t fuck
around with me!” It’s not black. It’s not fucking black! They go beyond their limit,
so from then on it’s all new. In that moment,
they live a new experience, so they go beyond. My name’s Cameron Stewart. Most people know me as
Cammy Stewart. I’ve been tattooing for
almost 12 years. And the Brutal Black Project is basically a concept
that was designed between me
and my friend Valerio for making wide scale blackwork
done in a… what some people might
describe as a chaotic way. The Brutal Black
Project in three words… could be: ignorant,
violent, and primitive. That’s it. When we do a tattoo, we modify a big amount of skin. We work on a lot of skin. It could even be
considered extreme, so there’s a real
transformation of this person. In the beginning,
we were more structured in how we went about making the
tattoos more traditional. Like, we would use
a stencil and preliminary drawing, etcetera. But, after seeing how people
reacted to getting the tattoo, we would change the
concept a little bit, and it became more about the freedom of working on someone
without constraint. I basically want to make people
look like savages. I want it be really
primitive and tribal. If you want a brutal
looking tattoo, there’s only one way to get it, brutally. That’s it. If you want to look brutal, you’ve
got to go through the process. And for the project, the most important [thing]
is the experience. So I’m Frankie. I’m from
the Netherlands. I arrived yesterday in Italy. I’m going to get tattooed by
Cammy and Valerio. I think we started about
half a year ago, something like that. This is going to be my final session
with the Brutal Black Project. I expect a lot of pain, and blood. I’m fucking nervous, man. I’ve always faced my
fear of suffering, of experiencing the feeling of pain. Because it’s not suffering, it’s just a feeling. But in our society, it’s labeled as…
it’s seen as something negative. Like when a kid falls, and his mother goes,
“Oh, you poor thing!” No. He doesn’t need an
apprehensive mother. He just needs someone who can
help him overcome that moment of growth, and overcome his fear. This is kind of what we
do with tattoos. There’s no need for me
to reassure you, to tell you,
“Oh, you poor thing!” Quite the opposite. Sometimes, I insult people. I say, “What the fuck are you doing?
Stay down! Don’t fuck around with me!” But, I only do this once they’ve
gone beyond their limit. They go beyond their limit, so from
then on, it’s all new. They don’t know what to do.
They don’t know how to behave. They have never seen it.
They have never experienced it. In that moment, they live
a new experience. That’s enough! That’s enough! If they’re pleading
with you to stop, you stop, but only if
they really have to. They are essentially in control. It’s not forced upon them. They’re here of their own free will. I think some people look at it
and think it’s like a negative thing. But, as far as I’m concerned,
if they want to get it done, and we want to do it,
and no one’s getting seriously hurt, I don’t see what
the problem is. I started tattooing when I was quite
young. I was only about 22. And I had done basic work,
any kind of work, traditional, Japanese, etcetera. And the work that I made
initially was probably a little bit more refined
and less dense. And, as I got into doing —
learning technique, and being able to put in
heavier amounts of ink, the work changed slightly, and blackwork, I suppose,
is what came out of it. I think I’m drawn to blackwork
because it was extreme, and it was pushing it to the limit. Doing sort of an outsider’s
type of tattooing that wasn’t commercial. It just clicked. For the tattooee, for the person who’s
getting tattooed, I suppose it’s kind of
difficult for me to comment on because, I think their interest in it is different than mine. They’re obviously
interested in having work that appeals to them,
sort of, come to us, because they’ve seen it online, and they want to get
something like that. And some people come maybe
because they want the experience, like a kind of rite of passage
thing, like a ritual. They believe that they want to push
their body physically to its limit. It’s the same as anything, you know,
like skydiving, bungee jumping, anything that releases
adrenaline and endorphins, [blackwork] could be compared to
[as] the same. I don’t give a fuck about pain. You just need to take it. If you don’t feel pain,
you’re not alive. Yeah, I was always into tattooing
when I was younger. My family members,
they all have tattoos. And one time, I went with my
mom to a tattoo shop. I saw how it’s all done
[unintelligible] in the tattoo shop. And I liked it, so… Yeah, it’s always the question why, but it’s the same like, why do some
girls do Botox in their lips, put implants in their ass,
and shit like that, you know. Everybody wants to look like
how you see yourself, you know. This will be the last session
of the Brutal Black Project. We have decided to end
the Brutal Black Project here. We kind of wanted to end it because
we don’t want it to become dilute and overdone. We will work on work together, but the concept will probably
change and develop just so you’re not recycling
the same thing all the time. Clean. Done. I think we’ve already
reached our maximum. We can’t do more than this. It dies here. We kill our own monster. When I start tattooing, I kind of feel like
I want to stay quiet. It’s not even purposefully.
Like, it just becomes that, and you just get submerged in it. I enable people to live their own experience to live freely, to face the challenge with pain. You feel like you perceive your body in its complete wholeness. This is not black! – What?
– This is not black! This is not fucking black.
Please tell him. He keeps torturing him,
and it’s not even fucking black. If it has to be black, you got to
make it black in one round. It’s not black. It’s not fucking black! Goddamn it! Basically, you’re going to get
body-bagged out of here in the trolley. I’ll push you home man, I promise. Too much? Mate, you’ve only just started.
It’ll take a while. I think you’ll get more into it
over the course of time. You think you won’t, but you’re fucking
probably a lot stronger than what you give
yourself credit for. I’m fucking sick. I feel bad for him. Yeah, death to Frankie, man. It’s only going to get worse
throughout the day. The thing is, when someone
comes in initially, they’re like normal and they
have to adjust, so your body will
release endorphins, adrenaline, just to get through it. But initially, it’s not easy. The first hour, not so good. Second hour, easier. Third hour, okay. Fourth hour, if he makes it that far, done probably. I reckon four,
four hours max. So I have to work fast
to try and get the coverage. Wait, wait! Let’s just finish… Let’s finish this spot. -We can finish it, no problem.
-It’s fast. The Brutal Black Project is an experience that’s
100 percent real. You get it as soon as you feel
very strong pain. If you decide to take part in it,
there are no compromises. The only compromise is your limit. Once you go beyond your limit,
that’s it. You have reached your goal. As a tattooist, I think pushing yourself is a good
thing all the time. Not as a tattooist,
as an artist, as anyone in any job or hobby or… In my opinion, you should always
take yourself to the maximum. It felt like torturing
from medieval times. In a session like that, you get to
know yourself a little bit better. I’m still feeling sick, but I’m
happy with — that I could take it. It’s never done. Even if you’re fully covered,
you’re going to find some spot to fill in. It’s never done, because yeah, I feel more complete every time I
have a session, you know.

Comments (54)

  1. VICE follows the orchestrators behind the Brutal Black Project, the tattoo collective where mandalas go to die and pain is prioritized over aesthetics.

    WATCH NEXT: Hong Kong Tattoo Legend: VICE INTL –

  2. These comments are hilarious. You all think they just kidnapped these people and started tattooing them against their will or something? No one signs up for a brutal black tattoo without knowing exactly wtf they're about to experience.

  3. Art is supposed to provoke emotion and thought, looking at this comment section proves that this project is nothing but art. Plus a tiny splash of good ole fashioned Italian sadism.

  4. You guys just find a video that has a warning and give free tattooing and they do it and they warn u and you guys are like These people shouldn't be tattooing

  5. I went through this and it was hell but worth it ?

  6. Why u do this u born in the world so clean but why u do this ur body like animal please back to islam before u die only islam can safe u life and after die..

  7. @4:18 Did they seriously tattoo the inside of some chick's vagina? Like, how and why did they do that? Who would volunteer themselves for that?

  8. The "brutal black" is just BDSM with extra steps. Lol. ?

  9. Why would you do something like that to your body?

  10. This is gruesome! Find ways of getting through pain if you have to, but don’t unnecessarily put yourself through torture!

  11. Nothin but little girls in this comment section.

  12. the guy with the ugly long beard is going to jail permanently*

  13. Hey man everyone was happy and got what they wanted in the end…I don’t see the problem

  14. There's a lot of dumbass people on this comments section, the people getting tattooed know what's going to happen and they want to do it. There's no reason to bash these artists as they are making people happy when its finnished

  15. That is going to be a pain to heal

  16. Tjts not tattooing thts branding, no art just ink

  17. Look like a kid just scratched all over his body with a marker

  18. I would insult them, but they do it to themselves.


  20. This is just something to please their sick twisted sadistic minds and should be arrested for this

  21. Tattoos are played out.

  22. Well I am happy that this video is not demonitized. Good job YouTube

  23. Let’s take something that already hurts and make it 10x worse ?

  24. A lot of people in the comments here are hating something they don't understand, that people consented to, and disrespecting the experience these people went through.
    It's not something I'd do, it doesn't have to be something you'd do… but can we at least be respect of them? Stop implying that someone who does this or has this done is a murderer or abusive. That's down right hateful and ignorant of you.

    Go spend all that anger on something that actually fucking impacts people in a harmful way… Like the bushfires in Austrialia, the fact that gay people can still be killed in a few countries, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, all the starving children, global warming, etc.

  25. How can they sleep or shower being sore literally all over their body.

  26. 1:56 reminds me of a revenge torture scene from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

  27. Contrary to what the Italian guy says, pain is not "just a feeling". It is the body's response to physical damage to keep you away from harm. Your nervous system is trying to tell you something… run the hell away.

  28. Sadism pure and simple

  29. It reminds me of house of 1000 corpses

  30. Man with the beard likes to torture
    Man with the mustache likes the art

  31. Magine all the boomer near him

  32. Wtf why does the guy with the beard have a crack down his head

  33. This shit is weird


  35. Who doesn't wanna look like a five year old took a permanent marker and scribbled on them.

  36. Wtf is wrong people


  38. I think the guy with the tiny beard is the only one who's sane among two of them

  39. this isn't tattooing its like scarring in not a good way

  40. 4:18 a pussy tattoo? Am I correctt???? ???

  41. These guys are insane making it free just proves how they love torture it reminds me a lot of mckamey manor

  42. Mamma mia, che persone disgustose

  43. Thought they was tuff till i saw he was wearing vans

  44. Imagine this dude as a grandpa

  45. The needles @ 4:10 are scary as f**k.

  46. Reminds me of black metal but for tattooing lmao

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